Stramaccioni in fight to keep Inter job

Last Updated: Friday, April 19, 2013 - 13:55

Milan: Inter Milan coach Andrea Stramaccioni has acknowledged that his job could be on the line after the Nerazzurri`s quest for silverware was halted by Roma in the Italian Cup semi-finals.

Before Christmas, Inter were in the top three in Serie A and being talked of as possible title challengers to leaders Juventus.

But a raft of injuries to key players, including Diego Milito and Rodrigo Palacio, coupled with a series of mediocre results since the turn of the year has left the 2010 league and European champions, 24 points behind holders Juventus.

On Thursday, Inter announced that two key midfielders - Colombian Freddy Guarin and Argentine Esteban Cambiasso had joined the casualty list but did not say for how long, both would be sidelined.

Guarin suffered a "grade one strain to his right calf muscle" during training Thursday while Cambiasso had been diagnosed with a "muscle tear in the adductor of his left leg", having felt a twinge in the warm-up before the 5-3 aggregate reverse against Roma on Wednesday.

Following a shock 2-0 defeat at Cagliari last weekend, Inter are also nine points behind third placed, city rivals AC Milan and the last qualifying place for next season`s Champions League.

The semi-final setback against Roma also scuppered any chances of silverware this season.

Media speculation has claimed Stramaccioni, who was promoted to first team duties in March 2012 following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, could now be replaced by a more experienced coach, with fans reportedly calling for the return of Jose Mourinho, who led Inter to the league, Cup and Champions League treble in 2010.

Despite his precarious position, the 37-year-old -- who has yet to sit his coaching exams to obtain a UEFA Pro Licence -- has pledged to give it everything until club president Massimo Moratti decides his future.

"I`ve never shied away and I`m not going to now. I`ll give everything I have for these colours from now until June 30. Then the president will tell me what`s going to happen in the future," Stramaccioni told reporters after the match.

With Roma leading 2-1 from the first leg, a first-half strike from Inter`s Brazilian defender Jonathan swung the momentum back Inter`s way only for former Inter player Mattia Destro to score a brace which gave Roma a 2-1 second-half lead.

Roma all but secured their final spot when Vasilis Torosidis sent a looping shot over Samir Handanovic and into the net 16 minutes from the whistle, while Ricardo Alvarez scored a late consolation for the hosts.

While Roma now meet Lazio in the May 26 final, Inter will look to salvage their season by finishing at least among the top five in a bid to qualify for the Europa League.

There are six games remaining this season and Inter host Parma on Saturday.

Stramaccioni added: "How will I deal with the coming games? I have no doubt whatsoever that my players will give everything until the end.

"The problem of course is how you manage the players. I think the president and the club are working to make Inter better but it`s my job to talk about what happens on the pitch."

AFP



First Published: Friday, April 19, 2013 - 13:55

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